A focus on prevention

Q Shelter proposes the need for a realigned approach to funding homelessness solutions with a genuine focus on prevention rather than crisis management.

With current demand for services surging in a context where the housing market remains undersupplied, it is proposed that enhanced funding for Specialist Homelessness Services is needed while prevention is embedded through evidence-based system reforms.

To embed prevention in the system the following is recommended:

  1. Fund additional intensive family support programs designed to identify at-risk families from pregnancy onwards with the goal of reducing childhood exposure to adverse events. The program goals should include reducing the longer-term risk of child protection involvement, homelessness, and involvement with the criminal justice system. This should include a combination of enriched early education (such as the Abcedarian approach), intensive family support, stable housing options, engagement with schools and positive community involvement. Locations that should be prioritised include Mt Isa, Cairns, Moreton, Redlands, and Townsville. A multi-state agency approach to integrated responses would be part of the design.$25 million
  2. Immediately strengthen integrated approaches to homelessness prevention between the Department of Health; the Department of Child Safety; Department of Youth Justice; Department of Housing; Department of Treaty, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Communities and the Arts; and Queensland Corrections. This requires a protocol and guarantee of no exits to homelessness through an integrated approach to housing and support.
  3. Fund a recurrent tenancy sustainment program throughout Queensland designed to work with people across all rental tenures to successfully sustain their housing and to be supported in any housing transitions to achieve an improved housing outcome.$30 million


  4. Adopt a policy framework focussed on prevention and evidence-based solutions such as housing first, rapid re-housing, tenancy sustainment support, assertive outreach and the prevention of factors leading to complex homelessness in early life.
  5. Undertake effective system design to ensure all critical elements of an evidence-based system are in place and working optimally in an integrated way.*
  6. Ensure the Queensland Housing Plan has in scope the health of the whole housing system and that it set targets for all housing – including social and affordable housing. Ensure planning instruments interpret those targets and ensure implementation is monitored.


* See Attachment 1 for an outline of important system elements.


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